For those who've ever heard the phrase "If you ever hurt my daughter . . . ," you likely know what follows. It's either a finger threateningly crossing a throat or a not-so-subtle mention of a rifle in the basement or a shallow grave in the backyard.
That line — and what has, for decades, followed it — was the ultimate symbol of the overprotective dad determined to protect his little girl.
But now, there's a new spin on the old stereotype. In a video adapted from a humor essay written by comedian Sophie Kohn, which was first featured in The New Yorker back in 2018, a different type of patriarch has refreshingly emerged.
Voiced by Jon Hamm, the three-minute short film features a monologue from a man who is speaking to his teenage daughter's boyfriend after he rings the doorbell. But, through clever turn of phrase, he is revealed to be a progressive, boundary-respecting father who would make any feminist proud.
The video is titled "If You Ever Hurt My Daughter, I Swear to God I'll Let Her Navigate Her Own Emotional Growth," and it includes some amazingly delivered lines that ever-so-conveniently serve as perfect nuggets of advice for parents.
Like this one: "But know this! At every moment I'm watching . . . myself and actively resisting my ingrained urge to infantilize my daughter and deny her a normal and healthy evolution into mature adulthood. Got it?!"
Or this one: "If I ever, ever learn that you made my daughter cry, or caused her any kind of distress, I swear on my goddamn life that I will hunt you down . . . a nice card so that you can write her a proper apology because we all mess up from time to time, especially as young people."
Here's hoping those who've grown up always hearing the original tired version of this message will now be the ones delivering this new one.